Q:

I have been taking 12 mg of metoprolol.   I bite the 25 mg in half.   I have been doing lots of walking twice a day, plus up hill mountain walking once or twice a week.  Can I cut back on my medication to see if exercise has helped, missing every other day or two or three times a week?  I really want to control my blood pressure without medication?

A:

You need to discuss changing your dose of blood pressure medicine with your doctor and your desire to try and lower your blood pressure without medication.  It is possible that you can lower your blood pressure without medication, but I do not know if your blood pressure is currently controlled or if you have other medical problems that would be impacted by a change in your dosage.  This is something you must speak with your doctor about and determine together.  The blood pressuring lowering effects of metoprolol (Lopressor) can last for up to a month after stopping the drug, so you can’t know immediately what will happen if you stop taking your medication, and you run the risk of complications.   For many patients, blood pressure is controllable without medication and a strict regiment of exercise, healthy eating, RESPeRATE, etc.  However, there are many people that need medication to help lower there medication regardless of healthy eating, exercise, etc.  That said; whether you need medication or not, it is important to eat healthy, exercise, reduce stress, not smoke in order to control your blood pressure.

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